4 simple ways to prevent house fires

Did you know that the majority of house fires start in the kitchen? That's why this year's Fire Prevention Week theme is: "Serve Up Safety in the Kitchen." Here are 4 simple things you can do to prevent house fires and keep your family safe.

Fire Prevention Week 2020


This year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign is: “Serve Up Fire Safety in the Kitchen!”

The campaign works to educate everyone about simple but important actions they can take to keep themselves and those around them safe.  

According to NFPA, cooking is the leading cause of home fires and home fire injuries in the United States.

Almost half (44%) of reported home fires started in the kitchen. Two-thirds (66%) of home cooking fires start with the ignition of food or other cooking materials.

Here are 4 simple things you can do to keep you, your family, and your neighbors safe. 


Safety tips when cooking

  • Cooking is the leading cause of home fires and home fire injuries.
    Thanksgiving is the leading day for fires involving cooking equipment.
  • The leading cause of fires in the kitchen is unattended cooking.
  • Stay in the kitchen when you are frying, boiling, grilling, or broiling food.
  • If you are simmering, baking, or roasting food, check it regularly and stay in the home.
  • Always keep a lid nearby when cooking. If a small grease fire starts, slide the lid over the pan and turn off the burner. Leave the pan covered until it’s cool.
  • Keep anything that can catch fire away from your stovetop.
  • Loose clothing can hang down onto stove burners and catch fire. Wear short, close-fitting, or tightly rolled sleeves when cooking.
  • Have a “kid-free zone” of at least 3 feet (1 metre) around the stove and areas where hot food or drink is prepared or carried.


Smoke Alarm Tips

  • Smoke alarms detect and alert people to a fire in the early stages. Smoke
    alarms can mean the difference between life and death in a fire.
  • Working smoke alarms cut the risk of dying in a home fire in half.
  • Install smoke alarms in every sleeping room, outside each separate
    sleeping area, and on every level of the home, including the basement.
  • Test smoke alarms at least once a month using the test button.
  • Make sure everyone in the home understands the sound of the smoke alarm and knows how to respond.


Home escape planning and practice

Home fire escape planning should include the following:

  • Drawing a map of each level of the home, showing all doors and
  • Going to each room and pointing to the two ways out
  • Making sure someone will help children, older adults, and people
    with disabilities wake up and get out
  • Teaching children how to escape on their own in case you cannot
    help them
  • Establishing a meeting place outside and away from the home
    where everyone can meet after exiting
  • Having properly installed and maintained smoke alarms
  • Pushing the smoke alarm button to start the drill
  • Practicing what to do in case there is smoke: Get low and go. Get out
  • Practicing using different ways out and closing doors behind you as
    you leave
  • Never going back for people, pets, or things
  • Going to your outdoor meeting place
  • Calling 9-1-1 or the local emergency number from a cell phone
    or a neighbor’s phone


Heating tips

  • Heating equipment is one of the leading causes of home fires during the
    winter months
  • Space heaters are the type of equipment most often involved in home
    heating equipment fires
  • All heaters need space. Keep anything that can burn at least 3 feet (1
    meter) away from heating equipment
  • Have a 3-foot (1-metre) “kid-free zone” around open fires and space heaters
  • Purchase and use only portable space heaters listed by a qualified
    testing laboratory
  • Have a qualified professional install heating equipment
  • Maintain heating equipment and chimneys by having them cleaned
    and inspected by a qualified professional at least once a year.

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